Are nukes "worth it"?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by VipersGratitude, 4 Oct 2017.

  1. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    7,925
    Likes Received:
    126
    There's not many things heavier than 239Pu that's why it's used as a fissile materiel and the only reason the mean global radioactivity levels increase is because the radiological material generate by bombs isn't found in nature so we went from zero to something.

    When 235U or 239Pu undergoes fission there's next to nothing left of it even during a ground burst as it splits into other (lesser) nuclear fission products.
     
  2. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    4 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    2,645
    Likes Received:
    267
    I didn't expect that my off-hand remark about the american education system would turn in to a debate about the highly complex world of nuclear physics, so I'm going to let you discuss it with yourself after this post, however...
    Fission happens in nature - google "Oklo"
    And my over-simplification wasn't entirely accurate in the name of expediency, but if you look at the link you listed you'll find the most long-lived fission product Technetium-99, with a half-life of 211K years. It's less radioactive than Plutonium, but does have the same radiation-exposure effects as Plutonium once ingested, and it's in the food-chain for 10,000 generations as opposed to Plutonium's 1K. "Lesser" needs to be defined.

    The bottom line is it's a bad idea to use nukes. I can't believe this is being debated. As much as you'd like to argue it away it does cause appreciable health-damaging effects long after the initial reason it was used.
     
  3. Mankz

    Mankz 5318008

    Joined:
    15 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    14,725
    Likes Received:
    533
    This.

    As good as Nuclear Power is, I do feel like Nuclear Weapons are one of those things I wish humanity could 'un-discover', but you can't have one without the other.
     
  4. MLyons

    MLyons Half doge/ half dev Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2017
    Posts:
    1,148
    Likes Received:
    213
    The only use for nukes is if we find a large area solely inhabited by spooky spiders. Then I give the green light
     
    goldstar0011 likes this.
  5. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    7,925
    Likes Received:
    126
    Sorry i tend to be a bit geeky when it comes to nukes, you're right i shouldn't have taken things so off topic.

    And i don't disagree with that, it is a bad idea to use them and they do create long-term damage for decades afterwards, i was only trying to point out that the long term damage isn't in the thousands of years range it's more like 2-3 generations (50-75 years) and that on balance there could be a situation where using a nuke would be preferable to a protracted war like that of the pacific that lasted for almost 4 years and caused approximately 22 million military deaths and a further 48 million civilians.

    I can't even remember how we got onto this subject however i believe Americas use of nuclear weapons against Japan was the lesser of two evils, the shock factor of such power probably brought the war to an end, whether that same shock factor would still exist today however is questionable.
     
    Last edited: 5 Oct 2017
  6. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

    Joined:
    20 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    9,269
    Likes Received:
    333
    Pretty sure it also knackers use of recently produced materials in anything sensitive to radioactivity. Low-background steel is stuck in my mind.

    Unless we're talking spiders the size of cattle, I think even then it's questionable.
     
  7. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    27 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    11,045
    Likes Received:
    183
    There was almost undoubtedly a lesser loss of life from using nukes at time time versus the alternative. Though there's another alternative history of Japan not upping and saying "yep, we're done" as well. Whether it was "worth it" or not and what ifs is a stupid argument to have today IMO. It happened, we all agree it was bad, and we all agree that it shouldn't happen again. Lots of such things happen in war, history is full of it.

    I look at it this way, someone was going to, eventually. If not then, when?
    It's a reference "woah, let's never do that again" moment in history, or at least has been and should be. Would the cold war, for instance, have played out the same way if we didn't have Hiroshima/Nagasaki to look back upon? Like so many bad things that have happened in history, the whole of humanity touched a hot pan, and hopefully learned from it.
     
    Mankz, Corky42 and liratheal like this.
  8. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

    Joined:
    20 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    9,269
    Likes Received:
    333
    I think, aside from nuclear reactor disasters, the two bombs dropped should remain an 'oh ****, never again' moment for as long as possible.

    IMO, anyone who advocates their use is just ill informed on the aftermath of using them. Or flat out stupid.

    Working towards nuclear disarmament is possibly the only good that can come out of having made them in the first place at this point in time. Even more so with the catastrophically retarded world leaders in play right now.
     
    Corky42 likes this.
  9. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    27 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    11,045
    Likes Received:
    183
    I'm not sure they can go away entirely now. The cat's out of the bag and it's staying there.

    The whole point of everyone having nukes is so nobody uses nukes. If there were no nukes, then the likelihood of nukes being used goes up dramatically.
    That of course, relies on those that have nukes not being catastrophically retarded, which is indeed a bit of a concern at the moment.
     
  10. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

    Joined:
    1 Dec 2014
    Posts:
    786
    Likes Received:
    10
    It doesn't seem that you are interested in a discussion so much as finding others to agree with you.
    The war was very complicated and messy. If Japan wasn't defeated quickly other countries like China and Korea would have continued to suffer.
    Nukes are bad, they are supposed to be used as a deterrent.
    We tried Napalm in Vietnam but that wasn't much better, neither was sarin gas.
    As we waste more money on military research be increase our options but no option good.
    Perhaps we will conduct future wars through cyber attack and drone warfare. It would be better that 'terrorist attacks'
     
  11. David

    David RIP Tel

    Joined:
    7 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    12,067
    Likes Received:
    1,537
    Ah, a Spiderman fan - you want radioactive spiders..
     
  12. Valo

    Valo Active Member

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2004
    Posts:
    1,137
    Likes Received:
    15
    That's just the death toll, think about how many livelihoods were destroyed. Besides, there were *two* bombings, how do you justify Nagasaki? I find this 'lower number of casualties' argument fundamentally flawed, you had no guarantee that the Japanese would surrender after the bombing. There was no definitive information on the progress of the Japanese nuclear program at the time and their ability to retaliate eye for eye
     
  13. MLyons

    MLyons Half doge/ half dev Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2017
    Posts:
    1,148
    Likes Received:
    213
    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. Nope all spooky spiders should be gone
     
  14. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    84
    Nagasaki is already included in that number which was based on the wikipedia estimate (source doesn't actually matter since if you go to 5 sources you get 6 different answers).
    Of course there was no guarantee they would surrender, but that guarantee didn't exist for the option of a full scale land war either.
    Also you are forgetting my other post:

     
  15. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

    Joined:
    20 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    9,269
    Likes Received:
    333
    Going away entirely, no, probably not - But there's not a cat in hells chance that the USA needs ~6800 (est), nor Russia ~7000 (est).

    I'm not even convinced an argument could be made for more than ten - Because if one country fires, with all the alliances and agreements, I suspect many more would be fired not long after, making vast numbers of them rather useless.
     
  16. Valo

    Valo Active Member

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2004
    Posts:
    1,137
    Likes Received:
    15
    I understand that the numbers include both bombings. What I am arguing that after the first bombing was made, why bomb another city?

    Also I am challenging your sentence exactly "So from a pure numbers stand point it is correct that it saved lives."

    I don't see how you argue this 'correctness' - it's just pure post rationalisation 'We nuked two cities, killed hundreds of thousands of people and affected potentially many more, but that's way less than killing the soldiers in traditional warfare' - such line of argument runs on counterfactuals that are in my view, very difficult to justify, unless you operate under the dehumanised view of the Japanese military (which incidentally was exactly the argumentation the American government used to justify their action)
     
  17. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    27 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    11,045
    Likes Received:
    183
    But... either side of the argument about what may or may not have happened if nukes weren't used is pure speculation anyway. Making it a stupid argument.
     
  18. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    7,925
    Likes Received:
    126
    Because by that time the military was in charge and they viewed the nuclear bomb just like all other bombs, in other words they would have kept using nukes until the war was over.
     
  19. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2001
    Posts:
    3,943
    Likes Received:
    32
    No.

    If you say "they shouldn't have been used", then you have to carry on with the consequences of that choice. Because there was a war going on at the time for a start.
     
  20. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    84
    We do have some information on the alternative though, Russia was allegedly very close to invading Japan.
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/08/05/stalin_japan_hiroshima_occupation_hokkaido/

    The mess that would have followed from that would most likely have far outweighed the damage from the nukes.

    As for the dehumanized view, while we obviously can't know for certain if the government of Japan would have reacted differently to 200000 dead soldiers rather than 200000 dead civilians history in general does indicate that there is a far bigger reaction to civilian deaths.
     

Share This Page